Drinkaware is a UK-based charity that promotes responsible drinking. On Parentdish's behalf they have compiled some sensible advice for parents on talking to children about drinking alcohol - from how and when to broach the subject to setting a good example by not drinking to excess in front of your children.
Why should I talk to my child about alcohol?
Drinking alcohol at a young age puts children at serious risk. It's not just about nasty hangovers - underage drinking can cause a range of physical and psychological harm from alcohol poisoning and problems in brain development to poor performance at school and anti-social behaviour. Also, evidence shows the earlier young people start drinking the more likely they are to become increasing risk drinkers in later life.
What parents say:
"You need to have these conversations while they are still open to parental influence... and before they come under peer pressure"
"I think it is very important especially with kids trying new things younger"
Is my child too young to learn about drinking?
You may feel that your child is still your 'baby' and that talking about alcohol will just put ideas in their head, but research shows that children as young as seven understand about alcohol and its effects. Kids at this age can also recognise drunkenness and addiction as well as unacceptable drinking behaviour. That's why it's important to start talking to them early about alcohol.
What parents say:
"I think 8 is the right age for gentle conversations about alcohol"
"I think it's likely by the age of nine a child would have seen alcohol in day to day life and be able to understand what it is"
When is the best time to talk to my child?
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